The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watchdog group, renewed its call for manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of cosmetics containing banned ingredients to promptly recall their non-compliant products.
The group had earlier found 15 imported as well as locally-produced cosmetics being sold in the local market that still contain banned isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben as ingredients.
Isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben, along with benzylparaben, pentylparaben and phenyparaben, had been included in the “list of substances which must not form part of the composition of cosmetic products” under the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive.
“While the other types of parabens are still permitted under current regulations, these five parabens should no longer be added to cosmetics,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“The government has given the cosmetics industry enough time to reformulate and replace the banned parabens with permissible preservatives,” he added.
“For the health and safety of consumers, we urge the concerned companies to take every non-compliant products off store shelves,” he stated.
The EcoWaste Coalition had recently found banned isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben listed as ingredients in some skin moisturizing lotion, skin whitening cream and lotion, sun protection lotion, body wash, cleanser, liquid hand soap and foot scrub cream.
As per Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Circular 2015-008, cosmetics that contain any of the five aforecited parabens can still be in the market until December 31, 2015.
The agency reiterated the said grace period through FDA Circular 2015-014, which means that cosmetics containing the banned parabens will no longer be allowed in the market by January 1, 2016.
“Cosmetic companies are advised to recall their products containing the abovementioned ingredients by the end of the grace period,” the FDA said.
“All cosmetic company/ies or person/s responsible for placing cosmetic products in the market which are found to be out of specifications shall be subject to appropriate legal actions,” the FDA warned.
Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics to prevent the growth of microbes and promote a longer product shelf life. However, parabens have attracted critical attention because they can mimic hormones and negatively affect human health.
Some studies have indicated that parabens can imitate estrogens, which have been associated to an increased risk of breast cancer. Other studies have suggested that parabens can disrupt reproductive hormones.